graphic with image of truck and text that reads "Your Guide to Becoming a Truck Driver. Part 1: The CDL Exam"

Congratulations!  You have finished CDL training school, decided on your endorsements, and are ready to take your CDL Exam. Now, let’s get the ball rolling.

Your first stop is going to be your local Georgia Department Of Driver Services office to schedule your CDL exam. There will be two parts to your exam: written and skills. You have gained the driving skills during school, so now is the time to focus on the written exam and putting those driving schools to the test!

The key to success is to not study hard but to study smart. Here are six tips to help you prepare.

Be Specific

Know exactly what areas you will be tested on and focus on those areas. Don’t waste time studying for endorsements you aren’t seeking. Also, be sure to know details such as the DDS rules and regulations, other various driving regulations, minimum and maximum weights, and the order of how the DDS pre-trip inspection is done.

Weak Spots

Make a list of the areas you feel the weakest and spend extra time studying the material in those areas.

Be Rested

Don’t study harder material when you are tired or distracted. Only study when you are alert and focused because otherwise, you are wasting precious study time.

Practice Tests

Practice taking the exam with practice tests. Doing this will help you get a feel for the type of questions on the exam and also pinpoint your weak areas. You can find free practice exams online by just doing a quick Google search for “free CDL practice test” or by visiting the Georgia Department of Driver Services website.

Go Mobile

Make it easy to study on the go by putting study materials on your mobile device. You can use apps like Quizlet for flashcards that cover the engine, cab check, steering, suspension and more!

Written Test Tips

Don’t forget these important tips for actually taking the exam.

  • Get plenty of rest the night before.
  • Eat a substantial breakfast.
  • Take your time understanding each question.
  • Don’t leave any question blank.
  • Recheck your answers, if you have time.

Prepare for the On-the-Road Driving Test

For the CDL road test, you will be tested on the following:

Pre-trip Inspection. You will be tested to see if you know whether your vehicle is safe to drive. You will be asked to do a pre-trip inspection of your vehicle and explain to the examiner what you would inspect and why.

Basic Vehicle Control. You will be tested on your ability to control the vehicle. You will be asked to move your vehicle in a variety of directions and turn it within a defined area.

On-road Test. You will be tested on your skill to safely drive your vehicle in a variety of traffic situations. The situations may include turns, crossing intersections, railroads, and also different city road types and highways.

Once you have passed the exam, you have earned your CDL and can begin the next step—getting a truck driving job! That is what we will discuss in the sixth and final part of this guide next time.